Sunday, March 8, 2015

Particle Spring Tour 2015 Charlotte Review

On the 3rd night of the 2015 Spring Tour, Particle made a stop in Charlotte, NC with Greenhouse Lounge pulling supporting duties.

I hadn't seen Particle since the end of the Calilicious Tour in Asheville, which I believe was one of the last shows with Charlie Hitchcock.  Since then there’s been a few roster changes and now the band website ( lists the current members as: Steve Molitz on keys, Ben Combe on guitar, Clay Parnell on bass, and Brandon Draper on drums (For the Spring Tour, Allen Aucoin will be on drums).

When a band has lineup changes, in my mind there’s always the question of, “Will they sound the same as when I saw them last”?  I’m here to report that yes, they sound the same but with one important distinction…

…They sound better than ever.  WOW!  These guys blew the doors off and left a blaze behind them.  Their sound has somehow doubled with the addition of Parnell and Aucoin.  Parnell is an absolute monster on bass and fills out the sound in such a different way than Eric Gould did.  I’ve never heard them sound so full.  IMHO, they sound edgier, and more complete with this lineup.

The show consisted of a mix of old and new songs with Particle playing some of their staples like “Launchpad”, “Triple Threat”, and “The Elevator”.  As any great live band is, they were in full swing by the time they reached their last number “Sun Mar 11” where they absolutely brought the house down.  They were clicking on all 8 cylinders and it’s a shame the show had to end, because I could have gone for a few more.  Luckily, they came back for one encore and ripped through Beck’s “E-Pro” – and actually, it’s the best rendition that I’ve seen them do live.

Although Greenhouse lounge did there job and had the crowd dancing before Particle came on, they didn’t make me want to go out and buy their album or look them up on the web.  In contrast, the first time I heard Particle at the Charlotte Cityfest, I was hooked and subsequently bought Launchpad and would never miss a show here in Charlotte, or in Asheville. 

From the first few notes, Particle blew them off the stage and Lounge never had a chance to be in the same ballpark.  Between the huge sound that Particle pushed out and their swagger onstage, Greenhouse Lounge should be busy studying Particle’s set after they warm up the crowd – because they could definitely learn a thing or two from them.

If you’re a fan of Particle or in on the “Jam Band” / “Livetronica” scene, do yourself a giant favor and make some time to go see these guys.  They sound incredible right now.

Below you can find some shots that I took at the concert.

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